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Men Acquitted In Daniel Pearl Murder Case To Remain In Pakistani Custody

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A Pakistani provincial

A Pakistani provincial government has ordered a British-born militant whose conviction in the kidnapping and killing of a U.S. journalist was overturned to remain in custody for at least three months.

Ahmed Omar Saeed Sheikh and three others connected to American journalist Daniel Pearl's killing will remain in custody for at least 90 days on the grounds of “public safety,” according to an April 3 ruling issued by the Home Department of Sindh Province.

The government ordered the men detained as it appeals to the Pakistan Supreme Court to have the sentences reinstated.

The ruling came a day after the High Court of Sindh Province overturned a death sentence and murder conviction imposed on Sheikh over Pearl's 2002 killing.

Defense lawyer Khawja Naveed said that, in handing down the decision, the court reduced Sheikh's sentence to seven years in prison for kidnapping, in what international media-freedom watchdogs called a "denial of justice."

The United States said the decision was an "affront to victims of terrorism."

Since Sheikh has been in prison since 2002, he was expected to be released.

Pearl, 38, was The Wall Street Journal's South Asia bureau chief when he was abducted and beheaded in Karachi in 2002, while researching a story about Islamist militants.

A video showing Pearl's decapitation was delivered to the U.S. Consulate in Karachi nearly a month later

Based on reporting by Reuters and AP

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